Soul Food: A different path


Baked Tilapia and Fresh Spinach

This recipe was adapted from Southernfood.about.com

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

(Don't be afraid of the seemly length of this recipe. It's looks long because I like to share tips and bits of wisdom but the recipe itself is so quick and easy!)

Ingredients

6 tilapia filets, rinsed and patted dry with a paper towel

1 tbs. olive oil

Sea salt and black pepper to taste

2 10oz. bags of fresh spinach

4 cloves, chopped garlic

4 green onions, chopped

1 tsp. onion powder

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tbs. fresh basil

1 tbs. fresh lemon thyme

1 tbs. fresh tarragon (has a kind of licorice taste to me but works a wonder flavor in your dish)

1 small tomato, chopped (I didn’t have fresh tomatoes so I used can. Try to get BPA free cans. See my creation below)

Directions:

Spread the olive oil in the bottom of the baking dish. Set aside. In a skillet on the stove top, add a small amount of olive oil, bring to a heat and add the garlic and green onions and sauté for about 2 minutes then add the spinach and sauté until it is wilted down. Squeeze off the excess liquid. Season the spinach and garlic lightly with sea salt and black pepper to taste, add the red pepper flakes. Cook for another minute. Set aside and let it cool while you season the Tilapia. Season the tilapia with sea salt and black pepper to taste and onion and garlic powder. Add the Tilapia to the baking dish. Spread the spinach and garlic mixture over the fish. Next, add the tomatoes mixture (see below) to your dish. Cover with foil and bake for 20-30 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork. Drain off any excess liquid from the dish before serving.

For the tomatoes (this step is optional but I find that if you lightly flavor each layer you get a better flavor in your dish):

Place your tomatoes in a small bowl (use ½ can of a 14oz can) juice included. Use the no salt added kind of tomatoes. Lightly season with sea salt and black pepper to taste. Add the chopped basil, oregano, lemon thyme add tarragon to the tomatoes.

Tip: To add a quick, easy, and nutritious carbohydrate to this dish simply toast a slice of sprouted grain bread, spread a little bit of olive oil on it, and dusk with garlic powder to your taste. You can also eat this dish with brown rice as well for a healthy carb. If you have it on hand, a nice piece of crusty 100% whole wheat Italian bread would be wonderful with this meal.

This is the type of recipe that you can enjoy a slice of peach or apple Crostata at the end for dessert because it so light. If you didn’t happen to make a Crostata and you have fresh fruit, nuts and yogurt in the refrigerator you can make a light dessert out of this. For a hint more of sweetness, add a drizzle of agave or honey. Top this wonderful meal off with a cup of hot tea. Right now I am waiting for my cup of mint tea to steep (fresh mint from my herb garden!)

When you make any recipe, remember that you are going for flavor and not salt!

The flavor from the onions and the fresh herbs in this dish punches a lot of flavor so you don’t really have to do much with the seasonings. Trust your instincts. If it tastes good without added salt, then don’t add any. I can’t tell you how many times I have wanted to kick myself for not trusting my instincts. When it has been ingrained in you to add salt, you almost feel lost without using it. But in time you will adjust to this wonderful way of cooking.


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